Product Design Engineer Job Description

Product Design Engineers are responsible for the process of creating and developing new products. They research and develop ideas and processes for new products, improve the performance and design of existing products and overseeing production and packaging of final products. Product Design Engineers generally work as part of a larger design and manufacturing team, and the position involves frequent internal and external collaboration in all stages of design.

Job growth for Product Design Engineers is steady but slow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 2 percent by 2024 for all Industrial Designers, including Product Design Engineers.

 

Product Design Engineer Duties and Responsibilities 

To accomplish their primary goal of creating new products from conception to production, Product Design Engineers perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Product Design Engineer duties and responsibilities.

Determine Design Requirements

Before beginning a design, Product Design Engineers consult with the client to determine what their requirements are. They do research on the ways a particular product may be used and who the target audience will be.

Design New Products

The design of a new product begins with the Product Design Engineers sketching out ideas. They may then turn these into computer renderings, and use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to build virtual models of the design. Next, they will build physical prototypes of the models.

Determine Manufacturing Requirements

Once a model is ready, the Product Design Engineer works with other specialists to determine what materials and manufacturing requirements will be needed to produce the product. They work with vendors to develop the manufacturing processes that will be required, and interact with the operations teams to develop the necessary supply chains. Product Design Engineers need to work out what production costs will be, and evaluate whether their design can be produced for a reasonable cost and effort. They may also plan marketing initiatives for the product.

Evaluate Product and Seek Feedback

Product Design Engineers are responsible for evaluating the new product to determine if it is safe, attractive and functional. They conduct tests and analyze data generated from builds and lab experiments. They then present their designs, prototypes and estimated costs to the client for approval, and incorporate any feedback on the design.

 

Product Design Engineer Skills

Resourceful and innovative, a successful Product Design Engineer is an effective problem-solver with strong decision-making skills. They are creative and have a careful eye for detail. Above all, Product Design Engineers work well as part of a team, and are able to drive people to create quality products in a timely and cost-effective manner. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Product Design Engineer candidates with the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Product Design Engineers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Product Design Engineer, focus on the following.

  • Experience with mechanical design work and knowledge in manufacturing processes
  • Ability to read and interpret blue print documents
  • Knowledge and experience with utilization of CAD/3-D Modeling Software
  • Solid knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel
  • Good sketching and concept generation skills
  • Ability to understand complex mathematical relationships that underpin mechanical analysis

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Product Design Engineer toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Product knowledge and thorough understanding of materials, linear and nonlinear behavior of materials, fatigue and corrosion
  • Experience with various plastic fabricating processes
  • Experience in use of lean tools to help develop new processes, layouts and flow
  • MRP/ERP/QAD experience

 

Product Design Engineer Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Product Design Engineer. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

DesignTaxi – Find inspiration, news and products from all over the design world at this blog.

ProductDesignHub – A great resource to read the latest news and get engaged with the Product Design industry.

Yanko Design – Get inspired by the unique and creative product designs that this blog curates.

On LinkedIn

Product Design – Ask questions, share ideas and network with a large community of Product Designers.

Mechanical Design Jobs – Find a vacancy to get started in a career at a Product Design Engineer.

Industry Groups

The Design Society – An international society offering tons of opportunities to connect and learn.

American Society for Mechanical Engineers– Find news, jobs and events from this organization, which focuses on all aspects of mechanical engineering, including design.

Product Design Engineer Books

Product Design and Development, 5th Edition – This essential text covers all aspects and techniques of product development.

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition – This entertaining and insightful book explains why good design is important and possible in all products.

Product Design for Manufacture and Assembly, Third Edition – Learn the theory and practical factors involved in the assembly and manufacture of industrial products.

 

Product Design Engineer Resume Help

Explore these related job titles from our database of hundreds of thousands of expert-approved resume samples: